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Matt_The_Mann

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Hi all!
A gentleman I work with piqued my interest in the art of bonsai when he started talking about growing some giant sequoias the other day. I admittedly got pretty excited and ordered myself a pair of Sequoia Sempervirens with the hopes of making my own mini redwood forest at home without paying any attention to the fact that it's early fall up here in RI and the saplings I ordered might not make it through the winter (they haven't arrived yet so idk how big they actually are but 4"-6" is what was ordered)
This has forced me to drink from the proverbial firehose and learn as much as I can so I don't kill the poor things, which is what brought me here. Any advise is greatly appreciated surrounding these coast redwoods in terms of overwintering them, planting them asap etc.
I do understand that it will be quite a few years before they'd even be candidates for bonsai (I'm actually patient I swear, I just got excited) so in the meantime I have my eye on a common juniper (age unknown, it came with my house so at least 1.5 years) that's growing nicely in an upright manner in my front garden that I'd like to begin working on next year if possible (2' tall 3/4" trunk) so advise for that lil guy would be awesome too!

Matt
 

f1pt4

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Hi all!
A gentleman I work with piqued my interest in the art of bonsai when he started talking about growing some giant sequoias the other day. I admittedly got pretty excited and ordered myself a pair of Sequoia Sempervirens with the hopes of making my own mini redwood forest at home without paying any attention to the fact that it's early fall up here in RI and the saplings I ordered might not make it through the winter (they haven't arrived yet so idk how big they actually are but 4"-6" is what was ordered)
This has forced me to drink from the proverbial firehose and learn as much as I can so I don't kill the poor things, which is what brought me here. Any advise is greatly appreciated surrounding these coast redwoods in terms of overwintering them, planting them asap etc.
I do understand that it will be quite a few years before they'd even be candidates for bonsai (I'm actually patient I swear, I just got excited) so in the meantime I have my eye on a common juniper (age unknown, it came with my house so at least 1.5 years) that's growing nicely in an upright manner in my front garden that I'd like to begin working on next year if possible (2' tall 3/4" trunk) so advise for that lil guy would be awesome too!

Matt
Welcome.

Pictures of the juniper?

Your redwoods will definitely require protection in the winter. Best I think would be to take those potted seedlings and bury the pots in the ground and mulch around. Preferably in the a sheltered area. or make a sheltered area. Reason I say to bury them is because they will probably arrive in small pots, and if you were to place them in a garage or shed for the winter, they might dry out too quickly, or be prone to freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw/freeze/death. If buried in the soil, even in the pots, that cycle won't be as dramatic.

This way it will give you the winter to think about what to do with them in spring and also learn more about the species.

Bury, Mulch, Protect from wind, Dump snow on them. Retrieve in the spring.

Should be fine.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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If you're married...
In less than 6 months....
Your wife is going to cuss out that proverbial "gentleman"!
Then you'll get it too!

Welcome to Crazy!

Oh and....

I don't think patience is necessarily at work here..
As we say...."be patient"...
This phenomenon of being frigging amazed...
Falling in love with the world, the same world that has been around us for years, anew, because of this new found amazement and respect for everything alive around you.

I think people don't overcome this stage of amazement because we are looking to "patience" to overcome it.

But it is way deeper than that.

Patience is for society.

We patiently await many days that only come once a year, and no one ever goes out to buy Japanese scissors to cut their birthday cake 6 months before it comes.

Don't seek patience.

Seek to not be amazed.

Sorce
 

Matt_The_Mann

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"...Best I think would be to take those potted seedlings and bury the pots in the ground and mulch around...
This is pretty in line with what my instinct was so I don't deprive them of the cold weather cycle. I will also snag a picture of the juniper when I get home, it was too dark this morning.

If you're married...
In less than 6 months....
Your wife is going to cuss out that proverbial "gentleman"!
Then you'll get it too!
Thanks for the welcome! Partial inspiration for making something grow came from my wife's fiddle leaf fig (non bonsai) so as far as she knows she's to blame for my newest endeavor
 

sorce

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You're golden!

Sorce
 

hemmy

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Sounds like a good experiment with the seedlings! You should check out your yearly high/low temps and average humidity versus some locations in their native coastal range. Also remember that ground grown trees can tolerate more extremes. Potted trees are going to be susceptible to even possible microclimates within your own yard. There are a few threads on here about hardiness outside of their native range. In addition, to winter protection you may also need shade cloth and timed misting to mitigate high summer temps. Maybe @coh can chime in with his experience from Rochester.

https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/shohin-costal-redwood.4181/page-2
 

coh

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Coast redwoods wintering outside in Rhode Island? Not sure about that. I guess if you have a bunch of seedlings and don't mind losing a few, you could experiment. I know Brent Walston out at Evergreen Gardenworks told me that he has had potted coast redwoods survive pretty cold temps (teens, maybe single digits? this conversation was years ago so I may not be remembering right, @Brent care to comment?). But very young ones might not have the same level of hardiness as more established specimens.

As for my own experience with coast redwoods, it's been mixed. I've kept several alive for a number of years (one for almost 10 years), but none are really thriving. They seem to be gradually weakening and I'm not sure if it's the climate or something I'm doing or a combination. My wintering strategy has been to allow the trees to get pretty cold in the fall, exposed to frost and light freezing, then bring them inside into an attached/unheated mudroom where temps stay between 35-45. They get some light but not a lot. As I said, they're alive but not really vigorous like redwoods should be.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.

P.S. In the initial post you mentioned giant sequoia, which is a completely different species (Sequoiadendron giganteum versus sequoia sempervirens, coast redwood). Giant sequoia is much hardier and would probably survive in the ground in Rhode Island, though it might need protection from winter winds.
 

BeebsBonsai

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I have a sempervirens seedling. Here is what i am going to do.

Buy a grow light
Buy a timer
My basement is about 40-45 degrees all winter. No heat in there. So theres no real cycling that can mess up the dormancy.

They take cues for dormancy on daylight length so ill keep the timer set with sunrise and sunset all winter. Then bringg them outside when frezing temps are guaranteed not to happen.

You might have more luck with giant redwoods as opposed to coastal. they have a much higher cold tolerance.

Im just going to keep it out of freezing temps. They can die if its too cold. Theyre not very cold tolerant in a bonsai container.
 

Matt_The_Mann

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Coast redwoods wintering outside in Rhode Island? Not sure about that. I guess if you have a bunch of seedlings and don't mind losing a few, you could experiment. I know Brent Walston out at Evergreen Gardenworks told me that he has had potted coast redwoods survive pretty cold temps (teens, maybe single digits? this conversation was years ago so I may not be remembering right, @Brent care to comment?). But very young ones might not have the same level of hardiness as more established specimens.
I ended up ordering two so I may plant one outside in a manner recommended by Hemmy and pot one and keep it in my basement with a timed grow light as BeebsBonsai mentioned and then plant the potted one in the ground (should it survive) My garage is a pretty stable 50-55 degrees throughout the winter so hopefully come next spring, I'll have a hardier specimen(s) that would tolerate future winters better. Weather wise, my area doesn't get in to the single digits often during the winters and the spring-fall stays relatively humid with foggy mornings common.
Different species, I know, but my folks planted a small Dawn Redwood which seems to my novice eyes to be doing very well (25-30' in 6 years) in the same area just a little further from the coast (15ish miles as opposed to my 1/2)
 

BeebsBonsai

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Yeah, I am far too cold to keep mine outside. We stay below freezing for almost all of January, and half of February typically, although it has been warmer in recent years. Typically we have about 5-10 days a year below 0. I still would say you should pry try to keep them between 34 and 50 degrees all winter. Although daylight is more important than temperature as a cue for dormancy with coast redwoods. One important thing. If you are keeping one above freezing, it will still metabolize all winter, slowly, but it will. So, the grow light is definitely key, and a growlight whose timer is set with our daylight lengths. Let me know how the one outside does, because the grow light is going to be a bear all winter.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Different species, I know, but my folks planted a small Dawn Redwood which seems to my novice eyes to be doing very well (25-30' in 6 years) in the same area just a little further from the coast (15ish miles as opposed to my 1/2)
Or you could just buy some Giant Sequoias and not worry about it :)

Giant Sequoia Nursery
 

Matt_The_Mann

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Bonsai Nut Trust me, the more I read I am more and more tempted to do just that. My intuition is telling me that the wiser thing to do would be to wait on a Giant Sequoia until the spring that way I don't lose 3 trees over one winter as opposed to the 2 I have coming unless I'm mistaken.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Well, not saying that you CAN'T keep coast or dawn redwood in RI... but I don't believe you will be successful keeping them planted outside. They will probably get large... and then die.

Giant sequoia on the other hand will have no problem living in RI without any special treatment whatsoever.
 

coh

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Dawn redwood is completely different than coast redwood and you can't equate the two in terms of culture and hardiness. Even if it rarely gets down to single digits in your area, the prolonged winter cold with wind may do the coast redwood in over time. I know they can tolerate an occasional cold night or short cold spell, but they are trees native to coastal California where prolonged significant cold is rare or absent. So if you experience a cold outbreak with temps below freezing for a few days or a week, you may well lose the tree(s).

Edit to add...I grew up on Long Island, very similar climate to your area. I'm pretty sure a coast redwood would not survive long term there. It might last for a while if you have a string of mild winters.
 

Matt_The_Mann

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Bonsai Nut and coh don't get me wrong, even though I like the Coast, I'm not dead set on it or the Dawn. I'd actually rather see a tree do well than beat my head against a wall trying to outsmart nature. That being said, in your opinions, what should I do with the seedlings so that they're not wasted. Also, I'll most likely end up going the Giant Sequoia route since my coworker has shown me quite a few very mature ones in the area. My gut is saying to hold off on ordering one until the spring instead of getting one and potentially not getting it into the ground until October
 

Matt_The_Mann

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Came home to find that the seedlings came in early and that one was is a Giant Sequoia (I thought I had ordered two Coasts) Based of all your advise I plan on planting the Giant outdoors and potting the coast so I can bring it inside when the temps drop.
 

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GGB

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Dawn redwoods are hardy down to zone 5. They get huge in PA and NY state . I don't undesrstand why they would have trouble in Rhode Island
 

hemmy

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may plant one outside in a manner recommended by Hemmy
Just to be clear, for coast redwood if I had a specimen quality tree or even just a big trunk, I would winter in a greenhouse or coldframe into the 40s F and summer under shade cloth with misting and possibly even a fan for air movement. I'm still 50/50 whether I'll take a coast redwood back if we move to the Midwest.
 

Matt_The_Mann

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IMG_3170.JPG
Pictures of the juniper?
This is as good as I could get. I think it got burned from sitting too close to the bird feeder if that's a thing? It's in a pretty crowded garden also so I plan on giving it some breathing room and waiting till the spring to start fiddling with it
 
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